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The Wild Wild West (TV Series 1965–1969) Poster

(1965–1969)

Trivia

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Ross Martin read a script when it was first given to him, then did a pen-and-ink drawing of the character he was going to play, down to the last detail, glasses, mustache, clothes, posture, shoes, et cetera. Then, he brought the sketch to Make-up Artist Don Schoenfeld, and together they molded his face until it looked like the drawing.
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Robert Conrad (5'8") wore three-inch heels as Jim West. The CBS casting office had orders not to hire any women over 5'6" for the show.
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Robert Conrad did all of his own "fight choreography", including the stunts, until one of them backfired, nearly killing him.
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The show was originally titled "The Wild West", but was renamed when it was decided that "The Wild Wild West" sounded better.
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The recurring science fiction theme, where genius scientists in the 1870s invent technology which didn't exist in the real world until several decades later, has come to be called "steampunk", a term coined in the 1980s.
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During the fourth season, Ross Martin had a heart attack and missed several episodes. In production order, Martin did not appear in episodes 93-101, a total of nine. Charles Aidman appeared in four episodes (93-96). William Schallert in two (97-98). Alan Hale, Jr. in #99, John Williams in #100, and Steve Carlson in #101. Martin returned in episode #102, "The Night of the Diva", but there were only two more episodes shot after that.
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Charles Aidman was added to the cast to fill in while Ross Martin recovered from a heart attack.
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Television shows of the era that filmed at the same studios often shared minor cast members. Familiar faces appear in episodes of this show, Star Trek (1966), Batman (1966), Get Smart (1965), Mission: Impossible (1966), Lost in Space (1965), The Time Tunnel (1966), and The Twilight Zone (1959).
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All the action that took place inside the train was shot on a set in the studio. The "car" had removable walls so that the camera could maneuver. This is especially obvious when someone is coming in or going out since there is always a bush visible outside which blocked the interior of the soundstage. Even when the long shot shows a desert with nothing around the car, the bush is still seen.
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Ross Martin knew how to ride, but he only tolerated horses, he didn't love them.
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Miguelito Loveless' middle name is Quixote.
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Though Richard Markowitz wrote the theme, he wasn't credited for it on any episode of the show, nor the film version of it, Wild Wild West (1999).
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James West was a Captain in the U.S. Army before he joined the Secret Service.
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Rory Calhoun was originally cast to play James West.
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The name of James' and Artemus' rail car was "The Wanderer 1".
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Robert Conrad has stated that the very tight pants he wore on the show often split open during action scenes. This is especially obvious in several wide angle shots of fight scenes in which Conrad's period incorrect Jockey shorts are clearly visible.
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The only episode whose title doesn't begin with "The" is season one, episode five, "Night of the Casual Killer".
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James and Artemus had two different trains. The first was a dark-panelled model used in the seasons where the show was filmed in black and white. The second was a more functional model decorated in green and gold. It's this train, which houses the unique gadgets associated with the show, that most people remember.
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Many episodes don't take place in sequential order. In the few which are given specific dates (in newspapers, verbal references, historical facts, or other kinds of clues), the year often jumps back and forth. For example, season one's The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Whirring Death (1966) takes place in 1874, while some season two episodes (such as The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Eccentrics (1966) and The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Brain (1967)) take place in 1872 or another pre-1874 date. Usually this does not make any problem for internal storyline continuity, as the episodes rarely refer back to each other specifically.
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Three veterans of the show, Stuntman Whitey Hughes, Make-up Artist Ken Chase, and Richard Kiel, reminisce about the series and Robert Conrad in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland and Company, 2010) by Tom Weaver.
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James West's birthday is July 2, 1842. He was named after his uncle.
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Miguelito means "little Michael".
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At one point, they considered calling the show "The Wild West West" after West's character. The name was changed before the show aired.
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Michael Garrison, the creator of the series, died during the second season when he slipped on a spilled drink on his new marble staircase in his new home and fell down the stairs to his death.
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Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon) missed nine episodes due to a broken leg and a nearly fatal heart attack. He was not in season four, episodes ten, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, twenty-one, and twenty-three.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The series was ultimately canceled due to CBS being uncomfortable with the "excessive" violence of the series, rather than declining ratings.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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